Friday, November 30, 2012

Nocuous with Demoralizer, Dark Was The Night, and Alcoholicaust [Ralph's, Worcester, 11/29/2012]

After a long layoff, I bit down and got back out to Ralph's for this one, despite a bit of surrounding work chaos; from my lookout it wasn't the most appealing bill in the whole entire world, but a decent metal show is a decent metal show, and it was still something.  Due to that layoff, I messed up the timing and got in well before the bands started; I looked over the distro tables and generally hung out and acclimated to the strange new atmosphere.  Ralph's, in the months that I've not been inside, has finished building the wheelhouse-style sound booth at the back, and has demolished the old familiar sound booth with the dishwasher foundry plate on it that was formerly in the middle of the floor.  In terms of renovations, this is not a patch on O'Brien's a couple years ago, but has about the same effect in terms of opening up usable floor space.

Eventually, Alcoholicaust corralled their drummer and got set up, so I could give up on the architectural criticism and go watch bands.

Alcoholicaust [4.5/7]
Up from Connecticut, I'd heard of these guys before, but not seen them live; what they brought, despite or maybe because of the lack of a live drummer, was a mixture of death and black metal reminiscent of old God Dethroned -- or maybe Enthroned at Obituary's tempos and compositional reach.  The density of the programmed drum tracks and the lack of anything really expansive in the music made for a restrictive and kind of rote impression, but at least there weren't a lot of desynchs, which is a continual risk whenever one of the members is an audio file that can't react to what the other guys are playing.  All in all, ok, and certainly better than Neldoreth, but should they come back, I'm pretty sure the band is also hoping to come back with a live drummer and some more developed material.

Alcoholicaust roaring about zombies.  Drummers are apparently an endangered species in Bristol.

Dark Was The Night [5/7]
I didn't know initially, but this is the band that Seth, ex of Ascendancy, Summoning Hate, Hekseri, and many other Boston-area bands is now drumming for; as such I was definitely interested in what they were going to present.  What they presented was, in some ways, a band with a thoroughly split personality over two songs: the first two were muddled, overly-dense, self-satisfying, intellectually-sterile prog-thrash of the worst sort that the end of the '90s could offer, and then they switch to "When The World Breaks Down" and "Dawn" (the latter using a pair of 8-string guitars to great effect), and it's like a whole other band, one that is awesome and progressive rather than progressive and annoyingly tiresome.  If they can continue to follow on in the latter vein, mixing dynamics, melodics, and varied tempos into their fusillade of technicality, this is going to be a band that a lot of people will have to pay attention to, and even this restricted sample was pretty damn cool.

DWTN rip down a wall of riffage.

It should be apparent that, like Alcoholicaust, DWTN was short a member from their desired setup; the bands were joking around a little later about swapping the one's bassist for the other's drummer.

DWTN equip their 8s for "Dawn".

Demoralizer [5.5/7]
Demoralizer, of course, I had seen somewhat recently, and they delivered pretty much exact to expectations, with a fifteen-song set of mile-a-minute grindcore interspersed with a couple of slam chugs.  It had, as usual, all the subtlety of an out-of-control gravel truck, but the ruinous speed and complete abandon that they approached the performance with was a definite blast of fresh air after the relative restraint of the bands preceding.  The floor did not see a whole lot of motion -- maybe people are still adjusting to the booth move and haven't got full moshpit prioproception yet -- but it was a little more than immediately previous, and the floor was pretty near full up.

Demoralizer get cranked up to start their barrage.

In this break, I checked Demoralizer's CD offerings and found out I'd picked up the demo they had back earlier in the year, so I hit the distro stand.  In addition to the still-requisite new Borknagar and cult reissues from CNV and Graveland, I also picked up some interesting scuttlebutt in relation to potential tours coming into the area from further reaches....but with Josh waiting on routing confirmation and still locking down details on venues (and presumably guarantees) with the bands, I'm not going to leak anything before confirmation.  That's a matter for another night.

Nocuous [6/7]
Looking back, I've seen this band a lot less often than I thought I had, which is probably due to how often End comes up in my CD rotation, and how the title track and "Wash All The Corpses Away" seem to get into every mp3 collection I make for travel or whatever.  We got the former as an encore, but not the latter, in a still of-course strong, crunchy, and diverse set that pulled in a lot of stuff off the forthcoming Prophecy -- and if your ears didn't perk up immediately at the idea of a new, presumably full-length, Nocuous record, you weren't at this show, and you haven't been paying attention to the band generally.  The rockstarishness of using stage fans (albeit a little more democratically than Coffin Birth) and the silly things they did to Reuben's hair were quickly plastered over by Nocuous' classic mix of punch and crunch, which was a little further evolved here than on prior samples.  The basic idea, of doing Witchery's meld of black, death, and Slayer elements with a completely different selection of stuff from black metal, death metal, and Slayer (Nocuous is still the only band doing Show No Mercy screams, which reflects poorly on every other band claiming to be influenced by Slayer), remains the same, but time and possibly member change have put a different spin on it.  Regardless, the band completely killed it, got an encore due to popular acclaim, and left approximately everyone there unsatisfied that the new record wasn't out yet.

Nocuous lay it down -- with Reuben's hair laying remarkably flat, for a ginger standing over an electric fan set on high.

Eventually, as noted, Nocuous had to close up, and I hit the road immediately, as I had a bunch of stuff to do for work in the morning, and even getting home at two, as I did, was going to be cutting it close.  Those work obstructions and close-cutting will feature next week as well; I should be able to escape my work holiday do in time to catch Abnormality, even if I miss Weregild or Witch King, but between work, class, and baking commitments Sonata Arctica and their keytar trolling on Friday is probably a bridge too far.  Sorry Gennaro, maybe next time.

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